MACON, Georgia. (41NBC/WMGT) – Early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Florence was less than 600 miles away from the North Carolina coast moving quickly to the west/northwest at almost 20 mph. Florence is still a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 130 mph.
The latest forecast path (as of 5 a.m.) shifts Florence’s track to the west. Florence will likely stay a major hurricane until late Friday night, when the hurricane is predicted to weaken to Category 2 upon landfall.
Following landfall, Florence will continue weakening and shifting westward, becoming a tropical depression late Sunday night as the tropical system drifts into north Georgia.
Due to this westward shift in the storm system’s path, Middle Georgia could now be effected by Florence.
Sunday night into Monday morning, wind speeds in Middle Georgia could increase to 20-40 mph. Winds this strong could knock some trees over and potentially knock out power.
In addition to stronger winds, rain chances will also increase through the second half of the weekend. As Florence bounces along the southeastern coastal states, rain totals are expected to rise.
Middle Georgia could pick up 1-3 inches of rain with locally higher amounts possible. Meanwhile, the coastal locations are expected to receive 10-30 inches of rain.
Hurricane Florence is still a few days out from making landfall, and as we’ve seen, the forecast tract has varied. It is possible that other changes to the path may occur. If they do, the 41AccuWeather Team will provide you with the latest tropical updates on the air, 41NBC website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
In the mean time, it’s important for all Middle Georgians to start thinking about developing a severe weather safety plan.
Pack a safety kit with the following items:
- One gallon of water, per person for at least three days
- Three days worth of non-perishable foods
- Flashlights and glow sticks, candles if necessary
- First aid kit and weather radio
- Extra batteries
The Department of Homeland Security provides more safety tips here.